I was a freelance writer for many years, writing mostly for upscale cruise lines.
Each member of my family is an avid reader, and we spend a lot of time in libraries and bookstores. My husband and I have always bought our daughter lots of books. She had a libary card when she was 1 week old! When she was very young we found that the quality of some of the children’s pictures books was disappointing. There are no doubt many excellent books too, but there is definitely a need for more creative original book ideas for the large number of young, smart readers who would love to experience something completely different. This got me motivated to start thinking of a unique idea for a new book. I thought about how my travel writing background could help children get interested in reading more and learning about geography at a young age. And I wanted to make sure the story did not "talk down" to the readers.
This is how I came up with The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly:Codta Rica. I wanted the entire reading and learning experience to be very entertaining, so I used my silly cartoon voices to narrate it, set it all to music and record it on CD. It really brings the story to life. By including this lively narration, even children too young to read or those not quite ready for reading a 64-page picture book could really enjoy the story. My daughter, Rachel and husband, John are both excellent musicians, so this was a family project. In fact the story about the creatin of the story and CD is just as interesting as the book itself.
The main character of my Tavel adventure, Lilly was inspired by my daughter Rachel, who is well read and an incredible pianist. The grandparents in the book were the result of my real life paternal grandparents, Nell and Joe. Before I wrote one word of the book, my goal was to make sure that that the story would appeal to parents, grandparents and teachers as much as it does to kids. There is nothing more boring than reading an unintersting children's book!